Thousands of Haitians protest against high food and fuel prices

Thousands of Haitians protested Wednesday in Port-au-Prince and the provincial cities of Port de Paix, Petit-Goave, Jacmel and Les Cayes against the government’s inability to address the socioeconomic and political crisis plaguing the country.

In the capital, people protested the persistent fuel shortages, high cost of living and insecurity plaguing the continent’s most depressed nation.

Along the demonstration route in Port-au-Prince, banners, Haitian and Russian flags were seen, and anti-government chants were heard, along with popular music blaring from speakers mounted on a truck.

“Squeezing my stomach, I can’t hold on,” chanted the protesters, responding to a call by Jean-Charles Moise, leader of the Petit Dessalines party.

“The claims of the Haitian people are not a game,” said Moise, who was at the protest. “We are on the streets forever. People want the country to be a paradise for all Haitians, not just 2% (of its inhabitants),” he added.

The protesters also demanded measures to curb the rise of the dollar, remittances in US dollars instead of the local currency, and the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

Burning barricades were set up in various parts of the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area.

All activity came to a standstill in the center of the capital, while there was a significant reduction in public transport, and banking and business establishments closed their doors for fear of reprisals.

In Jérémie (southeast), hundreds of residents protested the rising cost of living and staged a looting. At least two grocery stores were looted.

In the area, there were incidents where at least two people were injured when the National Police intervened to prevent looting of other shops.

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In the municipality of Petit-Cove, a few kilometers from the metropolitan area of ​​Port-au-Prince, large crowds blocked the doors of all money exchange houses demanding delivery of foreign currency in dollars.

Haiti has been facing weeks of ongoing protests that have already resulted in at least five deaths.

Esmond Harmon

"Entrepreneur. Social media advocate. Amateur travel guru. Freelance introvert. Thinker."

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